Using a Productivity Journal

I listened to the following podcast a couple of times today, and it features Mike Vardy and Shawn Blanc:

The Fizzle Show, episode 99: 2 Experts Share Exactly How to Use a Productivity Journal (& Increase Productivity by 23%)

At the end of each workday, Mike writes a freeform journal entry in Day One. His intent is to describe what did or didn’t work, then describe whatever is next. Minimal friction.

This time investment gives him a head start for weekly reviews. I dig!


Initially, I set five reminders1 in Day One for iOS. Then, I moved three work-specific reminders to Day One on my Mac, and kept two other on my iPhone.

To simplify, I’ll try writing daily in the evening — tagged “Daily Review” — with the help of a scheduled todo in Apple’s Reminders app.2

My goals for developing this new habit are to help me:

  • Summarize what I’ve done for the week more quickly (versus reviewing my Logbook in Things and my calendars).
  • Make weekly/monthly/yearly reviews less daunting.

  1. Three reminders for work (beginning, middle, and end of each day), then two personal. That’s too much, even at five minutes a pop. 
  2. This should be a calendar entry. Since I could punt it for a few minutes/hours (when needed), I’d rather not see it on my calendar. I’ll experiment! :) 

Published by

Bryan Villarin

Bryan is a Community Guardian at Automattic. He's also a photographer, card magician, and cat whisperer. (Thanks to my friend and colleague Steve Blythe for the sweet photo!)

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